Editorial: It's time to pass lobbying reform bill
"Today's lesson in how a bill doesn't become law involves lobbying reform. Given the Jack Abramoff scandal and the November election results, you might have thought that this would be one of the few things Congress could actually get done. Indeed, the Senate passed its version of lobbying reform in January by a vote of 96 to 2. The House took longer but passed its version in May, 382 to 37. According to civics books, each house appoints conferees, they work out the relatively minor differences between the measures and -- presto! -- the bill becomes law. But civics books don't reckon with institutional resistance to change -- especially change that could affect lawmakers' own interests -- or the capacity of the Senate to tie itself in knots over even the most routine procedures.

Enough is enough. It's time to get this bill done. Neither the House nor the Senate measure is perfect, but either would effect significant improvements over the unacceptable status quo. The most critical improvement is also the most controversial: requiring lobbyists to disclose the bundles of campaign cash they collect for lawmakers. Both the Senate and House bills contain versions of this reform, which would shed light on the influence that lobbyists wield. For that reason, some lawmakers of both parties would be happy to see the provision quietly die. That can't be allowed to happen. If he can't get unanimous consent this week to name conferees, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) should dare opponents to filibuster"

Get the Story:
Editorial: Get It Done (The Washington Post 6/9)
pwpwd

Related Stories:
Editorial: Political and ethical reform in Washington (05/30)
House Democrats ease lobbying reform bill (5/18)
Editorial: Democrats not safe on lobbying reform (5/16)
Column: Lobbying against lobbying reform bill (3/6)
Editorial: Old habits die hard as Congress still for sale (2/27)
Column: 'Lobbyist' now a dirty word in Washington (02/21)
Senate kills measure to limit tribal political donations (1/11)
Sen. Vitter targets tribal campaign contributions (1/4)
Tribal contributions drop after Abramoff scandal (11/02)
Politicians mum on reasons for taking Indian money (10/23)
FEC official targets tribes and political donations (2/16)
Choctaw chief accused of hiding political spending (2/15)
Oneida Nation opposes efforts to restrict tribes (2/13)
Jodi Rave: Tribal political donations debated (2/9)
Panel debates tribes and election campaign act (2/9)
Opinion: Making tribes play by the rules -- What rules? (2/9)
FEC clarifies tribal political donation limits (2/9)
Listening Lounge: Hearing on tribes and campaign act (2/8)
Tom Cole on the 'warpath' for political donations (2/6)
Human Events: Closing the tribal donation 'loophole' (2/6)
Campbell says Abramoff shouldn't stop lobbying (2/3)
Tex Hall worried Abramoff scandal may hurt tribes (2/3)
Tribal political donation 'loophole' on the radar (2/2)
Prosecutor targets DeLay trip funded by Choctaws (02/02)
Tribal political donations at issue in Washington (1/31)
Republicans seek to close tribal donation 'loophole' (1/31)
Three Abramoff tribes among top givers in 2004 (01/31)
Pombo has accepted more than $500K from tribes (1/30)
Bush won't release photos he took with Abramoff (1/27)
Tim Johnson: Don't tar tribes with Abramoff scandal (1/24)
McCain: A 'bipartisan' scandal in Washington (1/23)
Reform, gaming on agenda for members of Congress (1/20)
NIGA shies from Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal (1/19)
Bush mum on Abramoff contacts with White House (1/18)
Abramoff scandal claims another casualty (1/16)
Abramoff scandal a hot topic at gaming conference (1/13)
Texas prosecutor subpoenas Choctaws, Barona Band (01/06)
Abramoff pleads guilty in Washington lobbying scandal (01/04)
Mississippi Choctaws gave $250K to 'Family' group (01/04)
Burns to return $150K in Abramoff donations (12/16)
Bush discusses Abramoff tribal lobbying scandal (12/15)
McCain set to introduce lobbying reforms (12/15)
Coushatta Tribe made $330K in donations on same day (12/7)
McCain expects 'lots' of indictments over Abramoff (12/5)
Changes in tribal lobbying tactics discussed (12/5)
Dorgan vows to continue Abramoff lobbying probe (11/29)
Another Texas tribe involved in lobbying scandal (11/28)
Inside the BIA, according to Jack Abramoff (11/24)
Plea deal raises more questions about scandal (11/24)
Scanlon free to cooperate in lobbying probe (11/22)
Scanlon pleads guilty in lobbying probe (11/21)
Abramoff lobbying inquiry far from over (11/18)
Jack Abramoff lobbying probe touches DOI (10/26)
Pombo has received $90K from tribes this year (10/20)
Were Choctaws behind $500K donation to RNC? (10/03)
Choctaws were Abramoff's first tribal client (08/22)
Lobbying Report: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (6/27)
Choctaws hire three ex-Abramoff lobbyists (6/27)
Senate committee plans to issue lobbying report (6/24)
Under scrutiny, Choctaw tribe goes into hiding (6/24)
Choctaws hire lobbyist accused in Abramoff fraud (6/24)
Pombo collected $40K from tribes so far this year (04/25)
FEC ruling separates tribes from their businesses (03/14)
Pombo took $5K from tribe with bill before committee (07/19)
Pombo accepts money from tribes, tribal lobbyists (06/22)